At Mr X Stitch we love to review textile art and embroidery books for you. There are so many great books to discover, packed with needlework inspiration and textile techniques, so we dive into each book to find out what’s good, what’s bad and let you know why you should pick it up.
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Today we will be reviewing Sewing For The Soul: Simple sewing patterns and recipes to lift the spirits, written by Jules Fallon……
Sitting at 127 pages long, with an envelope full of patterns enclosed, Sewing For The Soul contains both advice for our textile art as well as recipes for cakes and other baked goods.It has been written on the premise of repair, both for the literal items made within and also for the reader emotionally. Jules Fallon delves into the soothing aspects of sewing and making. There are patterns and instructions for a number of items, all structured to fit with certain times of the year.
About The Author
Jules Fallon is a well known and respected pattern designer and owner of the brand Sew Me Something. She also has experiance in working as a teacher and author. She regularly appears at Craft Shows throughout the UK and currently leads many a workshop. Her website Sew Me Something can be viewed here.
Her website contains this first person information: ‘
After leaving school I opted to go straight to work in the industry as an apprentice pattern cutter and gained my Fashion Degree later as a mature student.
A spell as a pattern cutter in Hong Kong satisfied my wanderlust and I came back to the UK to set up my own design company, designing and producing couture and ready to wear bridal and evening wear.
Eight years and two children later it was time to move on and after selling my company I studied for my teaching qualifications.
This enabled me to become Head of a College Fashion Department teaching young people on the brink of their careers in the fashion industry and this is where it all came together for me.
Imparting and sharing the knowledge I have gained over the last 25 years in the fashion industry has allowed me to learn and grow on a personal level more than I ever thought possible – it’s the exciting and stimulating experience of creating and producing beautiful things and helping other people to do the same.
And so the idea of Sew Me Something…was born.’
Thus she is qualified to certainly write a book on the subject!
You may also follow her on Instagram, for information on her courses and textile work.
Who Is This Book Aimed At?
Mainly those with an interest in dressmaking, however this book has two added special sides….one, it contains a food side and two, it contains the very relevant self-care side, so it will attract a wider audience than those simply looking for a dress pattern.
The book is divided into four sections, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Each section contains a mix of clothing and recipes…related to the season. At the beginning of the book, there is an introductory section and at the end, we discover templates and sewing advice.
The introduction contains first hand feelings from the author herself. We have entered into a new period – post lockdown and this has made many think differently. Isolation can have its benefits as it has for Jules Fallon. She has also used her experience teaching to influence the books content. This publication has really been an outlet for her and an honest representation of how she feels about her craft and its connection to mental health.
The book itself contains many a dressmaking pattern. Thus this advice on fabrics is worth reading before we go out and buy the wrong thing. Fallon does sell fabrics herself which relate to her patterns, so to save time and effort it might be best to purchase from her directly, as we will know we are getting the right thing!
Helpful tables like the one above smooth out any questions – this one explains garment sizes in UK form.
Below, we have captured how the book is divided into sections. A double page spread, each with a title separates each part of the year….
As to the patterns themselves, each has many a picture and explanation…..
At the end of this book, other helpful sections such as basic embroidery stitch advice are outlined.
The photography is set out to give a Hygge vibe, the whole calm lifestyle aspirations most of us only dream of. There are lots of exposed wood backdrops and shabby chic outfits, which really work well for the context.
The divisions within this book are set out beautifully too, acting as a part of the book, which gives it a lovely flow…
What Makes This Book Special?
It has to be the mix of food and clothing; we do not normally come across this within a textile art publication. The book itself has a very real feel, as this author is one we may have well met at craft shows in the past. We may have even bought a pattern or fabric from her, or been on one of her workshops!
Anything Wrong With The Book?
If you are sick of the whole self-care premise, then this may disappoint you.
Amidst a pandemic, Fallon evidences through her writing and publication of this book, that not all has to be frozen in time, we can repair and create for a future – we can also all use our time well, even when isolated!
Sewing For The Soul, published by David and Charles and written by Jules Fallon